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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

5 Must-Ask Questions for New Voice Over Clients

When you’re working with a new voice over client, there are a lot of unknowns at the beginning. It’s very important to fill in these blanks as soon as possible to avoid confusion later on. The easiest way to do this is by arming yourself with a list of standard questions that you pose to each new client, so you can establish some background information about them, their project, and their expectations of you. Here’s what I like to ask all my new clients:

1.    What demographic am I speaking to? It’s critical to know what segment of society you are recording for, as this will dictate the delivery of your VO. Things like tone, pacing, enunciation - all of these should be tailored to match the demographic. For instance, how you record for a product or service marketed to senior men will be different than one intended to reach 20-something females. Match your voice over to your audience.

2.    Do you have any special instructions? From the get-go, you need to know if the client has any specialized instructions. There’s nothing worse than completing a project only to find out they wanted it this way, and not the way you did it. Each recording is unique, and each client will have a different set of expectations. Find out what their's are.

3.    When is the project due? This one doesn’t really need explaining. Find out when they want it completed, and do your best to exceed that expectation. Or underpromise and over deliver.

4.    What format should the recording be in? Different clients want different formats for the final product, so find out in advance what their file type preference is. Do they want mp3, wav, aif what? 

5.    Who are my main points of contact? You may not be working with the same person from start to finish. The person who delivered the project instructions to you may not be the same person who needs the final product. Same goes for edits and invoices, so be sure to get the contact info for every person you’ll be working with. 

In my experience, clients can be notoriously brief with what they need when initially contacting you. They are either in a hurry, new to the business or possibly even testing your knowledge.... or your experience or naivete (especially concerning your pricing/rates). So be upfront and set the precedent from the get go and ASK QUESTIONS. You'll also have an email reference to fall back on should a problem arise with acceptance of your final VO files. 

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